Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the World Intellectual Property Day Workshop, Jakarta

Selamat siang and warm welcome to
Stephen Jenner and Neil Gane from MPA, the Motion Picture Association
Dennis Adishwara from Layaria Network
Makeup artists Reza Pramesworo and MM Earlene
Warm welcome to other makeup artists and filmmaking enthusiasts.

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this event promoting intellectual property in the filmmaking community.

This year to mark Intellectual Property Day, we are partnering with the Motion Picture Association and Layaria to offer this workshop on special effects makeup art.

We all love movies.  We know movies need actors and directors who give voice to a story.  But they also need the artists and technicians who create movie magic:  the set designers, the stuntmen and stuntwomen, and the makeup artists.  They make actors look good.  They make actors look scary.  They make the stories real.

From the biggest blockbusters like the Avengers series or Indonesia’s Raidseries to small budget films from around the world, each film supports hundreds of people working behind the scenes on makeup, sound effects, digital effects, and other critical but often unnoticed tasks.

In January, I visited Infinite Studios on the island of Batam.  The studio boasts one of the largest animation teams in Indonesia and has the largest soundstage in Southeast Asia.

They are producing animation that has won Emmy awards in the U.S., the gold standard for excellence.  But they also produce feature movies.

I visited during the filming of the movie Beyond Skyline.  I met Frank Grillo, who played a bad guy in Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Iko Uwais (Ee-koe Oo-Wase), who, I don’t have to tell you, starred in The Raid.  He is a much nicer guy in person than the characters he plays!

Beyond Skyline is an alien invasion movie, so you know that special effects makeup, sound effects, and set design will be critically important.  What struck me during my visit was that while the director, some actors, and some crew were American, the majority of people working on the movie were Indonesian.

And that brings me to my main point.  Indonesia is on the cusp of taking off in the creative economy world:  cutting edge animation, video games, apps, e-commerce and much more are all taking off here and attracting international attention as well as capital.

As the global economy evolves, creative industries like film, music, software, and research and development, will drive future economic growth and employment around the world and especially right here in Indonesia.

But investments in innovation are risky, precisely because they are new.  So innovators know that many of their ideas will fail.  But they also must be confident that those they will be able to benefit from those ideas that do find a market.

That’s why intellectual property protection matters.  It assures that innovators in our creative economies, such as filmmakers and makeup artists, will earn the money they deserve for the risk they take.

Without strong intellectual property protection and enforcement, piracy and counterfeiting will thrive and criminals, not the artist, benefit.

In countries without good IP protection, the scale of piracy is alarming.  Fake goods are being traded in huge quantities; local film and recording industries are severely impacted; and knowledge-based products are being illegally copied in large but unknown numbers.

One of the reasons innovation thrives in places like Silicon Valley is that innovators know they can count on getting a patent for their new ideas and then profiting from those innovations that find a market.

In speaking about IP rights and protection, President Obama said: “Our single greatest asset is the innovation and the ingenuity and creativity of the American people.”  Similarly, as the Indonesian government continues to strengthen its IP environment, innovation can be one of Indonesia’s greatest assets and will benefit its economy and its people.

Our two governments are already working together on several initiatives related to IPR protection, including an IP action plan to strengthen the legislative and regulatory framework, revitalize enforcement, and raise public awareness about the benefits of IP protection in Indonesia.

Thank you to all who have gathered here today to participate in this exciting and important event to learn about one important aspect of filmmaking and to raise awareness about the importance of IPR protection.

Now I would like to welcome Steve Jenner from MPA to the stage to deliver remarks.

As prepared.